FABIO CAPELLO has hinted Phil Jagielka could be a long-term fixture in the England side after describing the Everton defender as “the driver of the back four”.
Jagielka will earn his sixth cap for his country in tonight’s Euro 2012 qualifying match against Switzerland in Basel.
In the absence of first-choice injured duo Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, the 28-year-old won praise for his performance in England’s 4-0 win over Bulgaria on Friday night.
England head coach Capello yesterday confirmed Jagielka would start this evening, and had sufficient belief in the player to nominate him as “the driver of the back four, the marshal”.
With Michael Dawson having been forced off through injury against Bulgaria, Capello could reunite Jagielka with former Everton team-mate Joleon Lescott at the heart of defence, although Gary Cahill and Matthew Upson are also pressing for a start.
“For the last game I chose players who I monitored in the Premier League,” said Capello. “Now we have to choose one the player who will play alongside Jagielka.”
Capello’s praise of Jagielka will further boost the player’s confidence with the 28-year-old eyeing a lengthy stay in the England side.